For as the rain and the snow come down from heaven and do not return there but water the earth, making it bring forth and sprout, giving seed to the sower and bread to the eater. Isaiah 55:10
Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ:
The salvation story of Jesus Christ reaches around the world. So that the readers of our Daily Devotion may see the power of the Savior on a global scale, we have asked the volunteers of our International Ministry Centers to write our Friday devotions. We pray that the Spirit may touch your day through their words.
In Christ, I remain, His servant and yours,
Kenneth R. Klaus
Speaker Emeritus of The Lutheran Hour
A few months ago, CNN showed how some thousand-year-old seeds found in Siberia and planted by Russian scientists had sprouted into beautiful flowers. Those flowers now are producing their own seeds.
In spite of the many years they had been dormant, their ability to grow and bloom was still intact.
Through His prophet, Isaiah, God tells us that His Word also has the power to create, to transform, and to save those who hear it, even though sometimes it looks like it takes forever!
Those of us who serve as missionaries understand very well what the prophet is talking about. We have learned God wants us to trust in Him because His Word will always accomplish His purpose. Allow me to give you an example:
Two years ago an elderly lady came to worship at one of our mission posts. At the end of the service when I was talking with her, I asked her how she had discovered us.
She replied, "Pastor, I was here two years ago, and at that time I promised I would be back."
It was true. God had brought the lady, 90-year-old Ana, back to our worship. Two years earlier she had stopped at our Lutheran Center, where our Lutheran Hour ministry center is located, and asked for some printed materials. At that time we talked, we read the Bible, and we prayed for her needs. After that visit, time passed, and so did our hopes of ever seeing her again. Indeed, so much time had gone by that I didn't recognize her when she showed up at the worship service.
How fast we lose our hope! How easily we get so wrapped up in statistics, measurements and numbers, while the Word of God keeps silently working in the lives of so many.
Ana's return reminded me of Isaiah's words. The Word of the Lord always brings forth fruit.
We just need to proclaim it and to share it with every person we meet. It doesn't matter how much time has gone by. God wants us to always trust in His Word where the Holy Spirit shows us the Savior, His sacrifice, and resurrection, which were done for our forgiveness and salvation.
So, to you and me, I extend this word of encouragement: don't lose hope in what God can do. Proclaim His Word and, at the right time, it will bear fruit.
THE PRAYER: Dear Lord, I give thanks You have done all that was necessary to save me. Now may I be bold in making my witness to others. At the same time, let me have faith that Your Word accomplishes what You intend. This I ask in the Savior's Name. Amen.
Biography of Author: Today's international devotion was written by the Reverend Cristian E. Rautenberg who was born in Misiones, Argentina. He has served as a missionary, and as the director of the Lutheran School of Valparaíso, as teacher of the Biblical Institute, and the Concordia Seminary of Buenos Aires. In 2007 he was sent as a missionary to Santiago City, Chile, where he is currently pastor. Since 2010 he has served as the president of the Lutheran Confessional Church in Chile. Pastor Rautenberg and his wife, Ethel, have two disabled sons: Nathanael and Matthew. In this country of more than 17.5 million people, Lutheran Hour Ministries-Chile is known as Cristo Para Todas Las Naciones. There it serves as the primary evangelism partner of the new Evangelical Lutheran Church of Chile (IELCHI). Launched in 2007 in Santiago, this ministry center offers Equipping the Saints (ETS) workshops, distributes outreach materials and topical booklets, and conducts youth music and elder care programs, operates a women's craft workshop, and works with a drug abuse prevention program. You can find out more about what's going on in Chile by reading its blog at lhmchile.wordpress.com.
Lutheran Hour Ministries has always stood for bringing Christ to the Nations, but we also want to share the Savior with those who are close by. If you would like to know more about how you can be prepared to bear witness to the Savior, we are having an outreach conference called SENT, in Detroit, from July 24-July 27. You can learn more at www.lhm.org/conference.
To learn more about our International Ministries, click here or visit www.lhmint.org.
In Christ I remain His servant and yours,
Pastor Ken Klaus
Speaker emeritus of The Lutheran Hour®
Lutheran Hour Ministries